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Why Hemorrhoid Symptoms are Worse After the Holidays

Posted on January 04, 2024
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Since piles are often the result of lifestyle changes, many people are discovering a new post-holiday bummer: new or worsening hemorrhoid symptoms. Also referred to as piles, hemorrhoids are lumps (caused by bulging blood vessels) that form in or outside your anus. And, because our holiday behavior can increase your risk for developing hemorrhoids, many spend the first few weeks of the New Year suffering. Here’s what to watch for.

What Causes Hemorrhoids?

Several lifestyle factors increase your risk for piles. These include constipation, straining when trying to pass a bowel movement, sitting for too long on the toilet, lifting heavy objects, and pregnancy. Now, these risk factors are present all year round. But some get much worse over the holidays.

Why is that the case? You see, during the festive months between Thanksgiving and New Years, we tend to overeat, filling up on foods such as meat, cheese, sweets and alcohol that take a toll on our bowels. At the same time, we tend to eat less fruits and veggies, magnifying the digestive turmoil.

In turn, many suffer from dehydration, constipation and straining, leading to new or recurring cases of hemorrhoids. In fact, the number of patients seeking relief from hemorrhoid symptoms rises by as much as 30 percent in the first weeks of the New Year. Concerned you might be among the new sufferers? Look out for the following symptoms.

Hemorrhoid Symptoms That Indicate a Problem

Some of the first signs of hemorrhoids include an itchy anus, pain around the anus, or lumps in the area. If your hemorrhoids are internal, meaning they’ve formed inside the anus, you may notice bright red blood on the toilet paper when you wipe after a bowel movement.  Even after passing a bowel movement, it may still feel like you need to go. And, even if you don’t notice bleeding, you may see mucus on the toilet paper or in your underwear after using the bathroom.

Treating Hemorrhoid Symptoms for Lasting Relief

For some people, hemorrhoids can be a temporary problem. You may find relief with topical creams and with lifestyle changes, such as increasing fluid intake, consuming more fiber, and avoiding straining when you need to use the restroom.

For other patients, however, treatment will be the only way to find relief from persistent hemorrhoid symptoms. So, if you need help for itching, bleeding and other painful symptoms of internal hemorrhoids, click here to request an appointment[/ga-app-link]at the Georgia Hemorrhoid Institute, offering minimally invasive treatment options.

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